Friday, 16 November 2012

The Vampire Beast Craves Blood

I'm not a scientist, but a couple of things bother me about 'Blood Beast Terror'. I can can just about believe that a professor of entymology could create an enormous man, sorry, woman sized Death's Head Hawkmoth in his laboratory but why would it specifically crave human flesh and blood? That's one thing. The deal breaker is how the hell he could create a massive, murderous acherontia lachesis that, most of the time, is actually a pretty, if rather forward, young woman? It just doesn't make any sense - and even if you disengage the make sense meter before you press 'play' it still itches your udders, especially as the film makers make no attempt whatsoever to show us their workings out.

So, yep, fundamentally flawed, and that's before we take into account the numerous non sequiters and dead ends, the characters who are given elaborate back stories just to be killed five minutes later, and the scenes that go on just a fraction too long, or start about a minute too late. Oh, and Roy Hudd's in it, providing comic relief (it's certainly a relief when he stops). It's all a bit of a mess and, fatally, gives what it has away far too soon.

Wanda Ventham plays the deadly girl moth, and although she's in 'UFO' and is attractive and all that, she's just too arch and knowing for the role. The moment she sashays onscreen, all cleavage and cow eyes, you know she's a wrong 'un. The supporting cast is good, but not given much good to do. Even the super reliable and sharply intelligent Peter Cushing plays a policeman who, knowing he is on the trail of a killer beast, takes his daughter (pouty Vanessa Howard, from 'Girly') along as cover and then acts surprised when she disappears.

'Blood Beast Terror' is undeniably slow and slightly defective, but it carries its insane (il)logic through to the very end, when the psychotic half human furry thing catches fire after, yes, making the school moth error of flying too close to a flame. Priceless, absolutely priceless.

PS The title of this post comes from the re-named US version of the film, which makes even less sense.


  1. I've long had a "thing" for the voluptuous Ms Ventham, so I always find plenty to enjoy in this one. She looks especially delicious in that black wig when performing in the stage play sequence.

    I am rather fond of the film generally; it's daft but very pretty in places - not merely THOSE!

  2. Is this the one that starts (or ends, I cannae remember which, maybe both) with Peter Cushing sat in front of a bonkers oil painting of a scene from Hell?

  3. It's alright, I've checked, and it ain't. Which one *was* that, then? He definitely grew something in the lab.

  4. Are you thinking of 'The Creeping Flesh'? Cushing plays the policeman in this film, not the mad scientist, that's Robert Flemyng (see above - screaming).

    1. That's the one! Yes, excellent; many thanks, U-W.

  5. There is a subliminal ingredient added to 'The Blood Beast Terror' that causes sudden deep sleep without warning.
    It took me about 8 attempts to sit through this one without nodding off:
    First time I watched it -late Friday night/BBC/etc- I woke up with cramp in my neck at 3am and no memory of the last 45 minutes of the film. The same phenomena occurred the next time it was shown, so I tracked down an ex-rental Vampix VHS, thinking I could beat the curse..
    .. it didn't work, and the film knocked me unconscious time and time again. No other film had ever had this stupefying effect, and repeatedly dozing through a Cushing movie made me feel pitifully inadequate.
    I finally managed to make it through to the end by taking a large quantity of "pep pills", and found the film extremely entertaining.